• Question: How hard was it getting your final qualifications?

    Asked by madeleine on 21 Jan 2020.
    • Photo: Rob Stanley

      Rob Stanley answered on 21 Jan 2020:

      I wouldn’t say it was ‘hard’ in the same way exams can be hard. But it needed a lot of determination and persistence. For my PhD I needed to write a ‘thesis’ (mine was 300 pages long), and do a ‘viva’, which is basically an interview where 2 senior people ask questions about your work and thesis.

    • Photo: Maja Popovic

      Maja Popovic answered on 21 Jan 2020:

      My final qualification is PhD, and in order to get it I had to:
      — work several years on different but connected problems
      — for each problem, I had to write about it and present it to other people (to travel to conferences)
      — at the end, I had to write a long story about all the things I’ve done during all these years (doctoral thesis)
      — I had to “defend” this thesis in front of two professors from my field and two professors from different computer science fields
      — I had to prepare three exams: one from my field (computational linguistics) and two from computer science but not related to my field. I choose “Recursion Theory” (theoretical, loads of maths there) and “Computer Graphics” (practical, how to teach computers to draw).

      So, I don’t know how hard all that is, but that’s what was necessary to get my PhD 🙂

    • Photo: Fiona Macfarlane

      Fiona Macfarlane answered on 22 Jan 2020:

      I was similar to Rob and Maya, I had to work on several projects for 3.5 years and at the end of it write everything up in a thesis. The thesis was then read and examined by 2 senior mathematical biologists. They came and asked me lots of questions about it, as my final assessment.